Quick Tips for Writing a Great Message- Thank You Note Etiquette Education
The Original Interactive Message
There’s the thrill of receiving a handwritten note, opening the envelope and reading a special message just for you. A cherished note can be easily revisited at any time, providing pleasure to the recipient indefinitely. How often do you look back on a treasured email?
When You Can’t Be There in Person
When being together isn’t an option, a handwritten note is a great stand-in. The extra effort it takes to write and send a message instead of dashing off a quick text is like sending a virtual hug. Your message travels across time and miles, passed from the writer to the recipient, handled with loving care by each. It’s a personal, intimate form of communication that says that you care.
When To Send?
Here are some examples of times when a thank-you note could really brighten someone’s day:
A friend pays the bill for dinner together.
Your neighbourhood pharmacist hand-delivered a prescription because you were under the weather.
A teacher gives your child extra help, either with schoolwork or a social situation, or gives a word of encouragement that makes an impact.
A friend offers you their extra ticket to a play or concert (and doesn’t accept your offer to pay for it).
An acquaintance makes an introduction to someone who turns out to be a great new business connection.
Your neighbour shares extra veggies from their garden with you.
Another parent regularly helps drive your child to a game or practice when you’re stuck at work.
A new client hires you.
Your mechanic fixes your vehicle quickly and gives you a good deal on repairs.
After staying as a guest in someone’s home.
Thank You Note Etiquette Checklist
Some key components should appear in every thank you note.
A gracious greeting
The greeting depends on your relationship, but in general, “Dear (insert name here)” is a great choice. To address job interviewers and other less familiar people, be sure to use Mr., Mrs. or Ms.
Thank them specifically
Express your gratitude and describe what you are referring to. For example, “Thank you so much for the delicious plate of cookies.”
Explain why you appreciate it
The details take your thank-you to the next level. Tell them exactly what it meant to you: “That made my day! They were so delicious. What a wonderful treat!” If the thank you is for a gift or gift card, let them know how you will use it.
Thank them again and add something personal. Consider complimenting them on their thoughtfulness or making a plan for the future (“I hope to see you soon!”).
Sign your name at the bottom. If it’s not someone you know well, include both your first and last name. If you’re a job candidate thanking an interviewer for their time, be sure to add your contact info in the note, including a phone number and email address.
Writing thank-you notes is an exercise in gratitude. While traditionally sent in response to a gift, many moments are elevated by a thank you note. When someone goes out of their way to help you or extends a kindness to you beyond what you might expect, that’s an occasion to send a word of thanks. Your note will be even more meaningful when the recipient isn’t expecting it.
Not only will the recipient of your note feel appreciated, but you will look like a rock star. You’ll also benefit from the good feeling of putting more gratitude out into the world. So keep a stash of note cards and stamps in your desk drawer too quickly, easily and powerfully express appreciation to people in your life.